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The United States is becoming a rogue state

Written By: - Date published: 4:57 pm, June 20th, 2018 - 53 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, immigration, International, israel, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics - Tags: ,

This is not a claim I make lightly.  But the United States, through its recent behaviour, is showing signs that it is becoming a rogue state, a description used to describe States that amongst other things has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council and is engaged in the mass incarceration of kids whose parents were seeking entry to the United States.  And this is putting to one side its attempt to undermine the international response to Climate Change and to pick fights with erstwhile allies.

The withdraw from the UNHRC is allegedly because that body has a “chronic anti-Israel bias“.

From the Independent:

The United States is set to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council, with the US ambassador to the UN calling the organisation a “protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias”.

Ambassador Nikki Haley said the withdrawal was not a retreat from the US’s commitment to human rights, but called the 47-member, international council “an organisation that is not worthy of its name”.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the decision “regrettable” but said the UK was “here to stay”.

The US has long called for the body to reform, saying it allows members that have been accused human rights violations. Ms Haley pointed to the involvement of countries like China, Cuba and Venezuela in her speech on Tuesday.

“Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” Ms Haley said.

Ms Haley also accused the council of maintaining a “disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel” that shows it is “motivated by political bias, not by human rights”.

The allegation of chronic anti Israeli bias is difficult to understand.  Palestine is fighting for its life and the subject of a continuous stream of attacks from Israel.  Of course other Nations should stand up and oppose this.

The relative death rate of one side’s civilians caused by military action by the other side is to me by far the most effective tool to work out if what Israel is doing is legitimate.  In the early 2000s it was 2.5 Palestinians for each Israeli.  In 2009 the death rate was 884 to 13.

And what is the current ratio of deaths?  From the start of the demonstrations on Palestinian soil against Israel’s treatment of them on March 30, 2018 to May 15, 2018 there were 114 deaths of Palestinians and an astounding 12,271 injured compared to one Israeli soldier being slightly injured.  The number is much higher now but the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has not updated its figures since May 15.  But I am sure you get the picture.  The ratio of deaths is now completely meaningless because it is so one sided.

We are not facing a war.  We are facing a one sided slaughter.

And what have the Palestinians been doing to deserve this treatment?  Engaging in passive protests on Palestinian land.

And no one is safe, not even Palestinian medics.  The UN reported on the death of Razan An Najjar, a 21 year old medic in these terms:

United Nations officials and agencies have expressed their outrage in the face of yesterday’s killing of Razan An Najjar, a 21-year-old female volunteering as a first responder, while carrying out her humanitarian duties with the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS). Razan was hit by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces while trying, with other first responders, to reach those injured during the ‘Great March of Return’ demonstrations close to Israel’s perimeter fence around 18:30. She was taken immediately to a trauma stabilization point, and then to the European Gaza Hospital, where she died just after 19:00. Three others in her team were also injured.

She was shot and killed even though she was dressed in white and had raised her hands while approaching a Palestinian who needed urgent medical treatment.

And to cap it all off Israel then attempted to denigrate her character by doctoring a video to suggest that she was deliberately acting as a human shield for Hamas.

Israel is claiming legal justification for its actions. Customary International law requires the response of a state nominally acting in self defence to be proportionate to the threat. Israel is clearly in breach of this.  Shooting unarmed people engaged in peaceful protest in their own country.

For America to want to side with Israel makes no sense,  And totally undermines its position as the leader of the free world.

As for American Treatment of families seeking to enter the United States illegally all I can say is that if you are not affected by what has been happening you should check yourself for a pulse.

The news has dominated recent media.  America is engaged in the mass separation of children from their families if those families arrive in the United States without a visa.

The White House appears to have three contradictory explanations for the policy.

The first is that there is no change from what used to happen and there is no policy to separate families.

Trump contradicts this by blaming the Democrats for the problems and insisting that the only solution is to fund and build the wall.

Meanwhile evil bastard and Whitehouse aide Stephen Miller has described the mass incarceration of children as a simple decision. The consequences are an intended feature of the policy, not a bug.

And Geoff Sessions has reached out to the bible for justification for what the Trump regime is doing.  From ABC News he is quoted as saying:

I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” he said on Thursday. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

As reported members of his own Methodist Church have filed a formal complaint against him, accusing him of “child abuse,” “immorality,” and “racial discrimination” and the “dissemination of doctrines contrary to the established standards of doctrines” of the Church.

Former first lady Laura Bush has publicly said this:

Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the internment camps for U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; those who have been interned have been twice as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.

Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.

People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.

And Republican heavyweights are showing signs of growing spines and standing up to Trump and his group.

Both Palestine and America show that our world is in a pretty fucked up state right now.

If you are interested there will be a vigil outside the US Embassy in Auckland on Friday June 22 from 5:30 pm and the Migrant Workers Union are organising a protest on Saturday June 23 at 12 pm also outside the Embassy.

53 comments on “The United States is becoming a rogue state ”

  1. Stuart Munro 1

    Damn straight.

    Shame our PM’s busy, because someone needs to tell the US the thing their best friends won’t.

  2. Adrian 2

    Your comment about the US support making no sense only makes sense in this respect. A few years ago a New York writer, Jewish as it happens, wrote a book on how it all works. Sorry I can’t remember the names of the book or writer as I only read the review in the NYTimes i think it was, but simply put, a very large chunk of the US Government monetary “aid” to Israel is channeled back to the US and distributed by a New York based Israeli organisation to senators and congressmen who are sympathetic to Israel. The numbers involved are astronomical.
    I’m sure someone cleverer than me can find the reference somewhere.

  3. Richard Christie 3

    I wish people would learn the distinction between America and USA.

    • simbit 3.1

      Drop the ‘A’, they are the United States, no more.

    • mpledger 3.2

      In common parlance the USA is referred to as America. It is only in quite narrow areas that America, as a continent, is the intended meaning e.g. geography. And by context it is usually quite clear.

  4. Liberal Realist 4

    MS I’d beg to differ. Imo the US is a rogue state and has been since its inception.

    US aggression has been ceaseless throughout its history, resulted in deaths of hundreds of millions of innocents, and the decimation of nations and cultures in its wake.

    The US was born of colonialism, theft, and genocide. It’s status in the world community underpinned by conflict, theft, and raw power. Culturally awash with false premise of identity politics & groupthink via liberalism and militaristic religious cults via conservatism. 40 million of its citizens living in 3rd world conditions while the 0.001% control more wealth than the 99.999%. It funds it’s fascist offspring Israel to the tune of $3.5B / year while defunding the last vestiges of social programmes (e.g. Medicare) that provides support to its destitute populations. And I could go on, but you get my point.

    Washington has funded it’s aggression planet wide with the ponzi scheme otherwise known as the ‘petrodollar recycling system’ since Nixon ‘nixed’ the Bretton Woods gold standard. In other words, funding hegemonic empire with funds effectively ‘borrowed’ from the rest of the world or simply ‘magiced’ out of thin air.

    The empire is now in terminal decline of their own making, and doing everything it possibly can to arrest it’s fall.

    The reach and breadth of propaganda is near saturation with modern information systems, the internet and so on – the final ‘nail in the coffin’ will inevitably be the advent of AI which will have absolute control of the global media narrative.

    IMO we have now entered the most dangerous period in human history. Collectively we’re all faced with an psychopathic, armed to the teeth, hyper-power that’s hell bent on global domination at any / all costs.

    • Philg 4.1

      Liberal Realist. Well said. Where is the but, but, but… ?

    • Bill 4.2

      The US is only becoming a rogue state to the type of mind that’s attracted by notions of the US being at heart a largely benevolent political expression of power. So for example, people who think and believe that JFK was essentially a good guy and the US and the world was diverted down some alternate route off the back of his assassination…

      In essence, it’s the same willfully blind and/or bankrupt nonsense on the part of liberals as that exhibited by apologists for Bolshevism who’d swear blind that “if only Trotsky…!” etc.

      Under Trump the mask has slipped. That’s all. Under Obama or Bush or Clinton or who-ever, it was the same US as we see today, but playing out beneath a distracting veneer of civility and with a measure of sophistication that’s now lacking.

      • tc 4.2.1

        Nailed it bill.

        I saw mickeys tag and thought there’s no ‘becoming’ in that line more a ‘continues to show’ because as you rightly point out (along with Zappa years ago) the facades dropped it’s now out in the open complete with bible bashing rhetoric.

      • Gristle 4.2.2

        Strike out the words “becoming a rouge” and acknowledge that post WW2 the USA is acting as any hegemonic power does.

        The biggest running joke is Current investigation into whether there was Russian interference into the 2016 USA elections. It’s as though the USA doesn’t routinely interfere with other countries’ elections. Oh, wait on,

        The human rights abuses the USA has undertaken or sponsored are too many to get a comprehensive list on.

        The extortionate trade practices the USA has (common with Britian back when it was the dominant player.) Stealing IP and installing trade barriers.

        Walking away from Treaties and international agreements when they are so inclined. Just remember that that it was Bush in 2005 who walked back from the agreement with North Korea on nuclear disarmament and NK only responded to them.

        US involvement in Syria is because of …….? It’s really about trying to dominate the Middle East.

        The war on terror is the USAs current cover to do anything it wants anywhere it wants. Prior to that it was the war on communism. The next pretext will be China.

        I am expecting war with Iran and there are only two time periods this will occur. It will either be in September/October of this year or September/October 2020. This timing will be to play into Trump’s election plans.

        It’s attraction to democracy and human rights are really only for well off white folk (preferably male.)

        • the other pat 4.2.2.1

          yup the American hegemony is dying and time will tell what/who it will lash out in its fuck you if i cant have it no one can attitude.

    • Pat 4.3

      Hi pat…..still havn’t worked out a new handle I see

  5. Anne 5

    As for American Treatment of families seeking to enter the United States illegally all I can say is that if you are not affected by what has been happening you should check yourself for a pulse.

    I understood many of them were refugees trying to escape poverty and persecution in the South American countries from whence they came. Surely that does not make them illegal migrants?

    Back in the 1960s my father used to say that WW3 would be started by America. That was a bold statement to make 50 years ago. It is starting to look like he was right.

    • solkta 5.1

      The USA came very close to starting WW3 over the Cuban missile thing. It was ok for the USA to put nuclear missiles in Europe close to the border with the USSR but when the same was to happen to them they pushed the world to the edge of war.

    • mickysavage 5.2

      I should have put speech marks around “illegally” and I agree. Not turning up to an American boarder with a permit if you are a refugee should not result in prosecution or having your kids taken off you.

  6. Daveosaurus 6

    (waits for the chorus of ‘buh, buh, buh, but her emails! waaaaah!’ from people who really should have known better)

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Heh.

    • Bill 6.2

      Can you link to instances of comments on this blog diverting into the contents of Clinton’s emails as a way of defending or excusing the actions/policies of Trump or his admin?

      Because although I see it coming up as a charge or accusation again and again, I can’t recall reading any instances of it.

      • adam 6.2.1

        The strawman cometh.

      • McFlock 6.2.2

        I think it’s certainly died down since CV got kicked.

        Is the search engine running ok from the server maintenance? Maybe I’ve lost the knack for getting comments not posts.

        • Bill 6.2.2.1

          Were CV’s references to Clinton’s emails attempts to illustrate a “much of a muchness” in terms of potential policy or personal attribubes, or were they attempts to excuse and/or defend Trump admin policies?

          Even if the latter, how do the comments of one commentator who can no longer comment, explain the reflexive “but, but her emails” line that comes up regularly, and that only functions as an attempt to preemptively dismiss and shut down people interested in critical discussion/conversation/debate?

          • RedLogix 6.2.2.1.1

            I’ll attempt to essay an answer on CV’s behalf, given he cannot speak for himself.

            There is no question that in terms of conventional political practice Clinton’s private email server was a huge mistake. Unacceptable on a number of levels and rightly exposed her to criticism by any conventional yardstick. As a representative of the system, she made herself vulnerable by her own standards and Trump instinctively went for it.

            Trump’s genius was to be able to simultaneously whack Clinton with this yardstick, while positioning himself as the ‘outsider’ against whom the conventional standards need not apply. In rational terms a monstrous double standard, but in reality a moot point … the damned ‘what about her emails’ meme became a real part of the campaign and there was no effective counter.

            Politically we tend to evaluate politicians by whether their own words and actions are internally consistent and coherent. Clinton held herself to a high political standard and fell short; Trump portrayed himself as an outsider, come to storm the gates and overthrow the icons … and delivered. Guess who won that exchange?

            • Bill 6.2.2.1.1.1

              So, is it fair to say that CV might have referenced Clinton’s emails by way of pointing out that she wasn’t “the good” candidate in terms of the probity she projected and that people intending to vote for her assumed of her?

              Whether or not that was the case, even if CV had used reference to Clinton’s emails as a way of saying Trump was excusable, that was only one person on this blog, and there are a slew of people highly critical of Clinton who made no reference at all to emails (I’m among them) and whose criticism of Clinton was independent of any thoughts or feelings about Trump.

              And yet, all this way down the track, “but, but emails” and (fck, there’s another “go to” that’s eluding me right now) are thrown up as pre-emptive pieces of nonsense that would stymie any joining of the dots and prevent any drawing up of a bigger picture that might place Trump in any kind of recognisable context – which is kind of useful if the only idea is to indulge in some kind of vacuous “feel good” hate fest I guess.

          • McFlock 6.2.2.1.2

            Firstly, I didn’t say CV was the only one who used it. Just that he was the most frequent user, as I recall. I’m sure by no means not the only example, but delivering examples without a search is more fucks than I give.

            But even the “much of a muchness” argument is, in my opinion, complete bullshit. It’s exactly what trump was doing when he made the “both sides” comment about the Charleston neononazi rallies.

            It’s a false equivalence that serves to minimise just how low down the barrel Trump is in US domestic politics and in geopolitical terms. Arguing a “much of a muchness” between Trump and Clinton is like saying the driver speeding the wrong way down a one way street blindfolded is “much of a muchness” with someone who is trying to control a lorry with failed brakes.

            • RedLogix 6.2.2.1.2.1

              By any rational measure ‘but, but the emails’ is a bs argument. But politics isn’t rational; it’s about people rationalising their emotional responses.

              And in that respect it was a fucking brilliant bit of bs because it gave all those people who instinctively wanted to vote Trump a ‘factoid’ to hang their choice on.

              We’re not talking tiddlywinks here; politics doesn’t get more intense and demanding than this. What on earth possessed the Secretary of State to break with all protocol and set up a private, off-the-record, email server? And then when it’s uncovered, delete it’s content? You don’t have to invoke any malicious or under-hand intent to know this was an unwise, even foolish act. What was the possible gain for the risk involved? Or did Clinton just quietly imagine the rules didn’t apply to her?

              Clinton was up against a ruthless player who wins any cost. Handing him a weapon; an email server that revealed, at the least, a cavalier attitude towards national security and protocol, may in the normal course of events have been unwise, but not fatal. Instead Trump exploited it for that could be squeezed from it, and in the circumstances she really needs to hold herself accountable for the consequences.

              • McFlock

                Oh bullshit.
                It wasn’t brilliant and it wasn’t exploited.
                It was one pellet fired from bullshit shotguns that involved an arbitrary choice made years beforehand. It was another beat up alongside so many others that were launched regardless of their truth, their triviality or seriousness if true, and how well they were handled if they were serious.

                But you were right about who thought it was important. People who needed some smudge of imperfection in order to publicly own supporting trump. Would they have voted differently if fox and Jones hadn’t been firing the email pellet, or comey hadn’t made his bullshit tilt a week beforehand? Who knows. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another.

  7. Timeforacupoftea 7

    Once again the UN and the world stands by and watches it own medic staff member get shot, children and unarmed africans get killed and maimed and carry on watching it all unfold on TV while drinking coffee.

    SHAME ON THEM.

  8. barry 8

    To paraphrase Marx, the US can’t bear to be a member of a human rights commission that would have them as a member.

  9. gsays 9

    Well laid out Mickey, thanks.
    Before I get uppity about the U.S., I am more upset with our lack of action.

    Why do we still have an Israeli embassy and ambassador?
    Send the diplomat home and close the embassy.
    Let migrants use it.

    By remaining inactIve and mute we are condoning the goings on in Palestine.

    • Timeforacupoftea 9.1

      ( gsay said :
      Why do we still have an Israeli embassy and ambassador?
      Send the diplomat home and close the embassy. )

      While you are at it lets send any other countries diplomats home that supports the do nothing UN bastards which we give millions of dollars each year.

      The world knows what is happening to the Palestinians but does nothing.
      That is a crime against humanity and on humanity

      • solkta 9.1.1

        So who do you suggest do what? Should we declare war on Israel and send our navy (snigger) to blockade them? If not us then who?

        • the other pat 9.1.1.1

          hey dont knock the Navy mate….we would paint big scary faces on the boats and that would really make them pause….oh wait….sorry they were reloading.

  10. RedLogix 10

    The ugly anti-Americanism on show here is almost as repellent as the Russophobia it alternates with. Really need a more sophisticated analysis than these tired Cold War tribal echoes.

    • Anne 10.1

      Redlogix… under the Trump regime (and it is now appropriate to call it a regime) America IS becoming a rogue state. It must be devastating for the millions of decent Americans who despise him as much if not more than we do. When we speak up against the vile Trump and is equally vile team then, imo, we are standing with those same Americans and I can only hope it gives them some comfort to know they are far from alone.

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        Apologies for not responding in a timely fashion, I’m only online sporadically as I travel. Airport wifi and all that.

        Absolutely we live in very unstable times; a lot of things are happening all at once, many are uncomfortable, unappealing or downright appalling. And yes Trump does very much divide the American people, he is a de-stabilising and polarising figure. It’s a dangerous trend.

        I’ve been attempting to understand my participation here over the past decade; I’m under no illusion it has much import but to myself alone, but it has served the purpose of helping me to articulate and refine what I believed. Given that most of us simply believe things we’ve either read or heard from other people, sorting , sifting and synthesising a coherent belief structure is a non-trivial task.

        Out of this reflection I’ve come to understand that the worst development of the past decades has been a rising tide of demonising rhetoric from both sides of the political spectrum. We live in an age where extremism has become the calling card of political credibility, while calling oneself a ‘moderate’ has become a dangerous thing.

        In terms of the OP, the interests of ordinary people everywhere, and especially in the USA and Russia, are not served by replays of unthinking Cold War tribalism. And while of course no nation is above or immune to criticism, or being held accountable for it’s mistakes and miss-steps … extremist labels such as ‘rogue nation’ really don’t help the discourse.

  11. Philg 11

    This tragedy is the latest of a lengthy history of US government’s amoral behaviour. The policeman of the free World? A Tui for sure.

  12. Tricledrown 12

    Manafort goes to jail trump throws a dead cat and it bounces back in his face.
    Trump is running out friends even his own wife.
    Not that he’s ever cared about her.
    His philandering as sexual harassment case’s prove that.

  13. Tricledrown 14

    Trump is not getting any sex right now
    His missus doesn’t want to go their.
    Remember bonking Bill Clinton when his wife found he started bombing civilians.
    A sex addict suffering withdrawal symptoms!

  14. One Anonymous Bloke 15

    When the executive order is knocked back by the courts for illegally detaining children indefinitely, I hope no-one forgets that you don’t need an executive order to rescind your own policies.

    A phone call to Sessions would have done the trick.

    Disgusted (but not surprised) by Peters’ craven failure to condemn this atrocity.

  15. esoteric pineapples 16

    With Geoff Session using the Bible to back his claims, now is the perfect time for people to get to know what exactly is in it, as this is the book that evangelical Christians are using as their template for the new order they would like to see implemented in the US. Murder, mass murder, rape, slavery, sex slavery, genocide and child murder are actually all okay. The modern interpretation of Moses’ Ten Commandments is actually an evolution away what his commandments actually were (which are actually many more than ten). As Aaron Ra points out (below), the more we have moved away from the actual teachings of the Old Testament, the more humane we have become.
    However, Christian fundamentalists who take a literal interpretation of the Old Testament are actually correct in their claims of what the Bible says. Their argument is that if you aren’t actually following the Bible, are you really a Christian. Obviously, the debate is far reaching and complex but maybe it’s time for a light to be shone on the Old Testament and the Christians who use it as a template for their beliefs, much like the Koran. As long as these are accepted as legitimate texts from God, they justify some pretty hideous behaviour. Maybe it is time for society to stop accepting the Bible as a source to measure good moral behaviour by?

    NB , the joke is on these Christians, because commandments like keeping slaves and sex slaves only apply to Jewish men. According to the Old Testament all the Christian evangelicals can be slaves but can’t own slaves etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aaron+ra+ten+commandments

  16. kevin 17

    Human Rights and Drone Strikes are mutually exclusives.
    So yes, the USA is a rogue state and always has been.

  17. Richard McGrath 18

    Yes the US is a rogue state… but hang on a minute, if it’s such an awful country why do all these Mexicans want to live there?

    As for the UN Human Rights Council, what are Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Qatar, South Africa, Egypt, Cuba and China doing sitting on a body that lectures others on their human rights violations?

  18. Ant 19

    Too true as reiterated for many years by Chomsky, Pilger, Medialens, The Intercept
    et al

  19. Macro 20

    The US has in many ways always been a “Rogue” state. There have been examples in the past century where they have decided to work with other nations for the betterment of human kind, and when they do their influence can be huge. But just take for instance the matter of AGW. For decades the nations of the world met at conference after conference always trying to get some sort of unified agreement on tackling continued rising GHG emissions of which the US is one of the prime culprits. Time after time these discussions met with failure largely because of the reluctance of the US to commit to action. Finally in 2015 they were able to come to some sort of agreement however minimal. But the significance of that agreement was huge because at last there was world wide agreement that something must be done. Of course with CO2 levels now well over 400ppm it is almost too late. The decision by Trump to renege on this small commitment is the action of a rogue state. This is just one area where the US has held back. Its use of indiscriminate torture and rendition is another. However under the current administration the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that it can hardly be held as the “leader of the free world” any longer.
    Just this weekend, while other members of the G7 have committed to an Ocean Plastics Charter Trump and his co partner in crime Scott Pruitt have announced over the past week the repeal of US regulations to protect the Oceans

    Trump’s directive focuses on energy extraction, fishing, trade and national security, further highlighting that he believes that the greatest value of federal lands and waters lies in the commodities that can be harvested from them.

    “Ocean industries employ millions of Americans and support a strong national economy,” reads the order, which Trump signed Tuesday. “Domestic energy production from Federal waters strengthens the Nation’s security and reduces reliance on imported energy.”

    Missing from the order are words like “conservation,” “stewardship” and “climate change,” as well as any mention of numerous other threats facing the world’s oceans, including plastic pollution, coral bleaching and acidification.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-ocean-executive-order-national-ocean-month_us_5b2a8ddbe4b0f0b9e9a7e186

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